Scenes From a Spending Spree
The House stimulus bill recalls those old TV game shows with contestants racing the clock to fill shopping carts, items spilling into the aisles in a mad dash to the checkout counter.
In the House, $200 million to re-sod the National Mall and $200 million to extend Medicare to cover family planning services fell out yesterday as Democrats keep ransacking the shelves from what the livid Wall Street Journal calls their “40-year wish list.”
Is this the only way to revive a sinking economy–to rush through 647 pages of $825 billion in scattershot spending? The President talks about transparency and accountability, but it’s hard to see those elements in a grab bag of what he himself has denounced as “throwing money” at the economy.
The funds for infrastructure are beyond dispute but make up only a small fraction of the whole.
“They keep comparing this to Eisenhower, but he proposed a $500 billion highway system, and they’re going to put $30 billion” in roads and bridges, says the ranking member of the House Transportation Committee. “How farcical can you be? Give me a break.”
After eight years of Bush inaction and deadlock, the exhilaration of rapid movement is understandable, but does everything have to be done at once?